Loren Beachy Answers Your Questions (Part 1)

We got your questions over to Loren last week, and on Friday I got a fax back.

“This is what I’ve got so far,” Loren writes. “I plan to give the other questions some attention, too.” You’ll find about a dozen-and-a-half responses below.

I’ll get the rest up when I get them in from Loren. Until then, I hope you enjoy.

Win a copy of Chasing the Amish Dream

Loren Beachy Chasing Amish Dream BookTo enter to win a copy of Loren’s book Chasing the Amish Dream: My Life as a Young Amish Bachelor, just leave a comment below.

I’ll combine these entries with those from the previous post. If you asked a question already, you can enter again with another comment here. We’ll draw a random winner to post along with the rest of Loren’s answers.

Loren Answers Your Questions

Trish in Indiana: Sometimes, I wonder what it must be like to be so “visible” to the community around you, and to know that there are tourists who actually travel from miles around to see Amish people.

Can you tell me if you believe many Amish feel a “burden” of responsibility at being so identifiable to the public?

Thanks, Trish. Jesus calls us to be a “city on a hill”. Yes, that’s a burden, but an opportunity, as well. We are conscious of the scrutiny you mentioned (we even hear it in sermons occasionally), and it is probably good for us.

Bill Rushby: What don’t you like about being Old Order Amish? (Please forgive the impertinent question!) 

Nothing major comes to mind. You’re forgiven, go and sin no more.

Slightly-Handled-Order-Man: We’ve read through different Amish America posts that the farm life is not as lucrative as it once was for many Amish (and non-Amish alike) and that many Amish people seek out careers outside of the home / farm, for instance the biographical information provided for your book states that you are both a school teacher and an auctioneer in addition to author and columnist. Acknowledging that, have you ever found resistance among your community toward your career paths as perceived to be immodest, very much unconventional or against community rules, or perhaps just against the personal opinions of other people?

Amish communities across America vary widely in how conservative we choose to be. In more conservative communities my auctioneer career would not work. In our community, as in most large communities, it is accepted. I have encountered very little resistance and much encouragement from my community members in my careers.

Al in KY: Two questions:

How many Amish auctioneers are there in the U.S.?

Are there other training schools (like Reppert Auction school) for
other occupations that are OK with Amish districts for Amish men and women to attend?

Lots. Probably hundreds.

My dad attended a farrier school when he was young. There are probably others, like tax clinics for bookkeepers and so forth, though it’s not exceedingly common for Amish to go.

Kim Shinn: This sounds like a very unique book to be written by an Old Order Amish gentleman…can’t wait to partake in the humor! I am interested in knowing what percentage of the teachers are male, as Loren is, compared to the customary young females that are teachers. 

Thank you, Kim. In the past decade or so, the percentage of male teachers in our community has risen to perhaps 20 percent (my guess). In Pennsylvania, there are almost no male teachers.

HDL: As a school teacher, are you concerned with the federal government interfering with what and how you teach?

Not yet.

Theresa H: We have Amish friends in New York and one of their boys wants to be an Auctioneer when he grows up. Is their any books that we could get for him to read about Auctioneering?

Sorry, I don’t know of any.

lincolnlady1121: I would love to read your book. Seeing you are a bachelor I was wondering if there was a certain age that Amish men and women are expected to be married by? Are there many Amish who remain single all their life? If you were too marry, could you retain your job as a teacher or would you have to get another occupation? 


Not really, though I think the average is something like 22 years old for men and 20 for the ladies. There are some who remain single–I’m going to guess between 5 and 10 percent.

I could keep my job as a teacher, though some men quit upon marrying because of financial considerations.

tjk: I was wondering how far you travel for auctions, and is this your first book?

I have been blessed to travel to New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, and as far west as Montana to conduct auctions. Sometimes I take public transportation such as a bus or train. Sometimes I hire a driver or ride with someone who is going anyway.

Chasing the Amish Dream is my first book.

mb welch: I work in an elementary school also. I am curious about how you think Amish scholars and “Englisch” students are the same and how they are different.

Your question/statement intrigues me. I imagine children from around the whole world have a remarkable amount of similarities.

Differences, I suppose, include our scholars having less exposure to an auditory vocabulary through television and radio, and consequently, more time to read and perhaps a greater chance at a visual vocabulary.

Celeste: What made you decide to write a book?

Why do you have a job? Someone pays you to do it right? Chuckle.

Patsy H: Is Loren the oldest in his family? How old is he now?

I am the eldest at twenty-seven years.

Osiah Horst: Is it just coincidence that your name is also Leroy? Have you ever been compared to Leroy Van Dyke?

I am assuming you are more than twenty two or twenty three, which in our old order Mennonite society is the “right” age for men to marry. Do your mother, aunts or sisters ever ask you when you are going to “grow up, settle down and get married”? Or do they just assume that no girl would want a “character like Leroy”?

How do you manage to do justice to all of these occupations and interests?

I guess my reading comprehension or memory work is not the best – sorry I got your name wrong.

No problem about getting my name wrong, Josiah. Are you that Josiah that’s running for president?

All jokes aside, you obviously know how it is, being single in a community like this. Lot sof people want to play matchmaker. In fact, when people offer to help, I started telling them to “get in line.”

I have no girlfriend at this point. The book does touch on some of the true values of life.

Doing justice to all those interests…perhaps I don’t. But, just like any other job, I don’t put in as much overtime at school here in my seventh year as I did in my first. Also, I have no chores to do, no laundry, etc. My mother and sisters take good care of me, for a small rent payment, of course.

Rich Stevick: Loren’s book is a witty, fun, and well-written read–I recommend it to all. My question: Loren, How often, if ever, have you seen a N IND rumspringa boy with a tattoo? How about an ear ring or two? Just curious.

Wow. Thanks for your kind words. I truly appreciate this endorsement from a well-known writer.

Rich, why are you asking questions about a group that is in the distinct minority–perhaps 15%? I’d love to sit down with you over coffee and discuss it in depth.

Linda: This is a delightful, lighthearted glimpse of Amish life, with laugh out loud moments sprinkled in. I especially enjoyed it, because it was written by someone who is Amish. I wish you well with this new book, Loren.

I’m much obliged.

Christy: My question for you Loren is when you are teaching history at school for your scholars are they learning your Anabaptist history or basic history you would find in public school or a little of both.

We teach basically the same history found in public schools though I would love to see us add some Anabaptist history to the school curriculum.

Mark – Holmes County: No question, but I did get a copy of the book just yesterday and here it is on Amish America today. :) I read the first 5 chapters & enjoyed it.

Grosz Dank.

Brenda Baker: Will your book be available in a Family Christian Book Store? There is one in Battle Creek, MI where I do my shopping. Sounds like a book I would enjoy.

I think my publisher, Herald Press, sells to the store you mentioned. That’s a chain, right?

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    1. Alex Knisely

      What prompts a church district to use local public schools?

      Old Order friends in Jay County (Indiana) send their children to local public schools. In that cluster of settlements, I believe that Amish schools are the exception rather than the rule. Do you have an opinion on this arrangement, other than that it might, if adopted where you live, do you out of a job?

    2. Allison

      Wow very interesting questions and answers. Before this article I never heard of male teachers in the Amish communities. I think its good that they are allowed to teach in certain communities. Thanks for the interesting article!

      1. Mark - Holmes Co.

        In our community there are a lot of men & boys teaching. One year there were close to thirty male teachers. In Lancaster Co. PA it is very rare, but in central PA (Big Valley & Juniata) we have several men teacher friends.
        The last few years I taught I was getting wages much like I could have gotten in any other job.

      2. Here in Holmes County, male teachers are around, but a minority. The biggest issue is probably the school being able to pay a competitive wage. That said, I know of one school that has an older ordained minister as their teacher. They love it (and he loves it too!)! They get the spiritual input and the unspoken “authority” that a man represents in the classroom, a classroom that always includes boys who are tempted to act goofy and girls who like to whisper and chatter.
        I remember sitting outside the school one day (waiting on one of the parents I had driven there) and listening to those children heartily sing hymns. It made tears come to my eyes for the beauty of it. “This is what school is supposed to be like,” I told myself.

    3. From the sounds of Loren’s responses, I think his story would be a very witty one. Would love a chance to read this book.

    4. Sounds like a fabulous read!

      1. book

        Sounds like I need to add this to my reading list!

    5. Jennifer Walters

      Loren Beachy Answers Your Questions (Part 1)

      I would love to read this book-sounds very interesting!

    6. Osiah Horst

      Male Amish Teachers

      I believe in most old order communities male teachers are encouraged and appreciated, at least verbally. Financial appreciation is a little harder to come by. In our communities I think that is beginning to change so that a married young man might be paid almost double what a single woman with the same age and experience might receive. We don’t want to pay our teachers so well “that they teach for the money”. We have several young married men in our communities that have spent some time in mission work and are now teaching school. Teaching in a Christian school is often more than a job, it is also being a servant to the church and community, more so than an auctioneer or a carpenter.

    7. Lisa Cregan

      Reading your book

      After reading your answers to the questions asked I am looking forward to reading your book. I have gained a good bit of knowledge from your responses and hopefully your book will give me a better realistic glimpse into the Amish culture.

    8. lincolnlady1121

      Thank you for answering my questions. Where in New York does Loren Auction? I just wonder if I have been to any of his auctions.

    9. Carol

      Sound like a great read!

    10. Judy C.

      Loren Beachy Answers Your Questions

      Will you please have your publishers add your book as an e-book at Amazon. Thanks, I rarely buy paperbooks.

    11. George Moore

      Question for Loren!

      I saw in the questions you answered above that your 27 years old. I just wanted to say congrats on getting a book published. I also would like to ask if you know of any way for an English person like myself could learn your language and some day become Amish.

    12. Tamara

      New community

      We have a relatively new Amish community here in upstate NY. I really admire them for a lot of reasons. One family has a disabled child. And my first thought upon hearing this, was the parents of this child is never going to have to worry about what might become of him after they’re gone. Who will take care of him and treat him right. Because of the values they have, they can be comforted with the knowledge that he will ALWAYS be taken care of and looked after by his family. I know that not all of the English are blessed with that comfort and knowledge. Can you say anything about this type of situation with the Amish? I would love to read this book, Most of the Amish I know have a great sense of humor. Surprises me when others are surprised by that.

      1. Tamara that is something I admire too. I don’t want to speak for Loren but I don’t think it’s uncommon. Disabled individuals are incorporated in the community in different ways.

        You might like to know about a business in the Holmes County settlement called Care N Share, which sells products made by physically disabled Amish people: http://www.amishcountryvirtualtours.com/care_n_share_map_amish_quilts.html

    13. malisa wright


      Really enjoy the Q-andA. Looking forward to reading Loren’s book.

    14. Susan F


      Thanks Erik, for your wonderful site and congratulations Loren, on your first publication! I am looking forward to reading your book.

      1. Thanks for stopping by the site Susan. I’ve enjoyed Loren’s answers. If anyone’s wondering Loren faxes these to a mutual friend who passes them along to me by email. Some Amish folks use a fax-to-email service which comes in pretty handy. And a minority just uses email 🙂 I’ll plan to send these comments along to Loren as I think he’ll enjoy your feedback.

    15. Debbie Rhoades

      i will be checking at my local Christian bookstore for your book, Loren. Does your family have any Englisch friends, and, if so, does your community ever talk to you about distancing yourselves from them? Your book sounds wonderful.

    16. SueAnn Dolinsky


      I loved ready the questions and answers. Very interesting. I find the Amush life both admirable and interesting. I respect their lifestyle when I’ve visited. I love reading more and more about their way of life

    17. Sharon Ohler

      Typical School Day

      As a public school middle school teacher, I would love to know what a typical school day schedule looks like for you. What subjects are covered, how much time is devoted to each, do older students or more accomplished students work with struggling students, are special education students part of your student body? Thanks!

    18. Debbie H

      I look forward to reading your book. My question this week is: Why are so few Amish in Florida. Farming is very good and productive. Is it the land prices?

      Thank you

    19. Linda H


      This sounds like a very interesting book! Most “Amish Books” are written by and from an Amish woman’s point of view. Can’t wait to hear from a male perspective! Thank you!

    20. Mary Miller

      Loren, I would love to read your book! Especially since I have met you, and have been to several auctions that you conducted. In fact, you conducted my parents’ estate sale about 3 1/2 years ago. (Alvin Beachy, in Honeyville)Blessings!

    21. Jean Junkin


      I am almost through reading all my Amish books, I sure would like the one offered above.

    22. Rosalie Bullard

      Chasing the Amish Dream

      Would love to win a copy.

    23. Roylyn Miknyocki

      Loren,you mentioned you have at one tim or another hired a driver to get from point A to B. What is the going rate for these folks that are drivers for the Amish communities?

      1. Roylyn we’ve actually been having a good discussion on the Amish driver topic the past few days, with comments from a few Amish taxi drivers, which you might enjoy. Here is the post, you might also ask there: https://amishamerica.com/debbie-the-amish-taxi-driver/

    24. Alice Mary

      After reading these comments and praises, I want to read it even more! The cover is eye catching & intriguing.

      Just wondering—is that YOU on the front cover, or a “stand-in”?

      Alice Mary

      1. That hand over the face probably wasn’t an accident. I suspect that young bachelor is Generic Joe Yoder. An Amish man writing a book with himself on the cover would probably be as likely as a Presidential Inauguration without any President. 🙂

      2. Is that Loren on the cover?

        Merrill Miller, the designer who created the Chasing the Amish Dream cover, wrote a couple of interesting posts at mennobytes.com revealing how this cover (and covers in general) came to be. It’s really an interesting look at the behind-the-scenes of how cover design evolves:



        An excerpt from Merrill’s account:

        The author sent us some of his own clothes and a straw hat to use for the photo shoot. I then began carefully looking for the perfect model. Mostly, they had to fit in the clothes and be willing to act like they were running as fast as they could. Also, we needed to compose the model in such a way to obscure his face, since most Amish groups do not appreciate having their photo taken. No, we didn’t hire a highly paid model. I leaned on a willing fellow staffer here at MennoMedia. Now you know.

        We got some great options from the shoot and I combined them with a background scene and a buggy. I presented the third round of mock-ups to the committee. The overall imagery was well received but when shared with the author, we discovered that the buggy was an Ohio buggy, not an Indiana buggy.


      BEAUTIFUL MUSIC BY THE AMISH, voices given by GOD to honor HIM.



    26. Gayle Scheel

      I'm so intrigued with the Amish!

      I’m not sure exactly WHY I am intrigued with the Amish, but I am. I will be sure to read your book even if I don’t win the contest. I think perhaps the most drawing quality of amish life is the importance of the things that matter most, God and family. Thank you for publishing! May God Bless your future 🙂

    27. mary ellen ashenfelder

      Love reading about the Amish.

      I enjoy reading everything and anything about the Amish and their way of life. We visit Lancaster, PA several times a year and this past summer, I finally got to visit Holmes County, Ohio. I would be thrilled to win a copy of this book. Thank you.

    28. Marilyn from MI

      Loren’s book looks like a fun read from the cover and I hope to enjoy it soon.

    29. Sharon Delph

      Looking forward to reading Loren’s book. I am so interested in the Amish and their beliefs and customs and how they differ from each region. Thanks for answering these questions.